He Was Awfully Concerned About His “Friends”
“I worked for a chicken restaurant. At one point we were so infested with cockroaches that it was normal to see about 20 in a single day.
We begged the manager to shut down the store to clean. Instead, we never ever stopped and were required to come in on the weekends to clean around everything. We also were required to call cockroaches ‘friends’ so we wouldn’t let the customer know that we were infested.
On more than one occasion we would feel them crawling on us and we were told we weren’t allowed to react or we would be written up. Thankfully we got shut down by the health department and corporate took over the store and turned it around.”
It Was Only A Matter Of Time
“I bartend off and on. I got hired bartending at an exotic club once that was sleazy as sleazy could be. I once caught a dancer blowing a guy in the lap dance area, not even in the back room where there’s full privacy, just the curtained off couch area where anyone could walk in. It was so gross.
Anyways, a bunch of illegal stuff went on there. They paid less than the minimum tipped wage for bartenders in my state, let their underage dancers drink as long as it was off camera (I didn’t serve the underage girls, the manager would just look the other way if a guy bought them a shot). But I drew the line when they started asking me to marry bottles (pouring some cheap stuff into a grey goose bottle so they can charge more). I refused to do it and I quit the next day.
About a year later the owner got sued by some of his former employees and he lost his business license for that club and a bikini bar he owned. I wasn’t a part of it but I was happy he got what he deserved.”
Today’s Trash Is Tomorrow’s Special
“I used to work in the kitchen at a Wetherspoons (pub chain in the UK). If anything went out of date, we simply changed the date dot so that it would say it went out of date the next day instead. If something fresh didn’t sell well but we already had lots of it prepared (this would happen with steaks and fish mostly) the dates would get repeatedly changed until it went brown/stank and then it would get put on ‘special.’ My manager’s bonus was, in part, based on wastage; lower wastage equals a higher bonus.
When our auditor came around, he basically told us that he knows that it happens and that as long as he doesn’t see it, it’s okay.
Also, we got pretty much everything pre-portioned and frozen, so at least part if not all of your meal will be microwaved. In general the later you come in, the more kitchen equipment we have turned off and cleaned so more of it goes in the microwave. Send back your food because it’s cold? That’s going in the microwave. That job seriously broadened my mind to what exactly you can cook using microwaves alone.
We also didn’t get breaks. They would even tailor shift lengths so that you would get the shortest legal length breaks (that we would get shouted at for taking anyway). For example, a five-hour shift gives you a 15-minute break but a 4:45 shift gives you no break. Guess which one they give you.”
From Taco Bell To Scientology
“I worked at a Taco Bell in college.
The general manager was a piece of work. I was the night manager. I only worked there a year.
Our store closed at 3 am, and his rule was that we had a half-hour to clean the store after that. If we couldn’t finish in a half-hour, we could clock out and finish or we could call him and tell him why we didn’t finish and then he would decide if we got paid for finishing or not.
It never came up until one night when it was just another woman and me working. At 2:50 am we got slammed. I guess some frat house had a party and they were all starving. The other woman and I kicked butt. We made $300 in one hour, and this was back when tacos were 36 cents each, so that’s a lot of tacos.
When we finally got to lock the doors, it was already 3:50 am. Yeah, I’m not staying to clean this crap up for free. So I called the manager. He was not happy to be awakened. First, he berated me for not calling him as soon as the rush hit. The guy lived 45 minutes away, there was no way he’d be able to get there in time to really help. Then he tried to tell me that since I didn’t call for the rush, my only option was to make the other woman stay and we cleaned for free. I told him no and that it was illegal to try and make people work for free. He finally relented and agreed to pay us. So generous.
The next incident was when money went missing. This went on for a couple of weeks and he finally decided we would have assigned registers. HE would count the register before he assigned someone and only HE could count it after we were done. No problem.
Except the first day he implemented it, he kept telling me to let someone else use my register. If you want me to share this register, I am no longer responsible if it comes up short. He insisted I was. I told him I wasn’t. He decided it was too much trouble to assign registers. That works for me. He finally caught the culprit. One of the new hires had watched the manager open the safe and memorized the combination.
The next incident involved how much my customers liked me. I was young and happy back then. I always smiled. I always made sure customers felt welcome. One lady would come in with her 3-year-old daughter. I always interacted with the little girl and made her laugh and smile. One day, they came in and the mom told me the little girl had a gift for me. I started to protest, but the mom let me know it wasn’t anything expensive, just a little dime-store necklace she’d paid a dollar for because the little girl wanted it for me. It was so sweet. There was also an older man who would bring me a sundae from the ice cream store next door. He was never creepy and I think he was just a lonely old guy and I talked to him like a human being.
So one day, my manager approaches me and tells me I have to tell these customers they are not allowed to bring me gifts. I remind him that I’m not soliciting these gifts and I’m not giving anything in return for them except good customer service. I told him if he wanted them to stop bringing me stuff, he could tell them himself because I wasn’t going to do it. You want to tell a 3-year-old they can’t color a picture for me or bring me a flower? YOU be the jerk and tell her. He dropped the issue.
The final straw came next. We had two homeless people (a young guy and girl) who came in once in a blue moon and asked for salt. The wanted salt because they were living off bags of dry dog food and I’m guessing the salt helped them get it down. We didn’t charge for our condiments so I would just give them a few packets of salt and they’d thank me and leave.
When my manager found out, he was livid. He told me I was no longer allowed to give out salt for free. I had to charge 3 cents a packet for it. Okay. It’s your business.
The next time the homeless people came in, I slipped the guy a quarter and he bought salt with it. My manager was furious. How dare I give this guy a quarter to buy salt with?
I’d finally had enough of this guy. I told him that in a month, I would have been at the store for a year. At one year, because I was night manager, I would get one week of paid vacation. I told him if he’d let me work another month so I could get my vacation pay, I’d quit and he’d be rid of me. He knew he’d never be able to fire me for cause, so he agreed.
For the next month, I kept asking him about my week’s paid vacation in front of other people. ‘Hey boss, I’ll get my week’s paid vacation when I leave, right?’ He’d agree. I did this several times over the next month.
So I quit and get my last paycheck a week later. You guessed it. No paid vacation money on my check. I went back in and asked him about it. He started backpedaling.
I immediately went to the corporate office. Things did not go well for him.
So, what happened to the manager? He’s currently a Sea-level member of Scientology. If you ask me, it’s a match made in heaven.”
Maybe You Should Have Filed A Report
“I had just moved to a new city and was working as a waitress in a struggling restaurant.
Soon I got ‘promoted’ to a supervisor, and one of my daily duties was replacing expired food labels with fake ones – I mean, this was some Gordon Ramsay worthy stuff. Serving one-month-old moussaka to customers? Are you kidding me?
The restaurant was just horrible in general, the most disgusting complaint we’ve had was when a customer saw chef lick his fingers while cooking with bare hands and then just continue like nothing had happened.
We’ve also had a complaint about a sandwich made with moldy bread, although this was before I became a supervisor.
I mostly just played dumb, and then quit shortly after that. Looking back, I should have reported the restaurant, but I was young, afraid, and had zero life experience.”
The POS Doesn’t Work
“One employer used to drink on the job (manager at a bar). He had too many one night and absolutely lost his mind when our POS went down. It was the end of the night, and so it was just him and me. I told him the POS was down and I couldn’t cash out. He responded by grabbing the computer, throwing it into the air and punching it in my direction. He proceeded to jump up and down on the broken computer once it had landed. I put all of my cash in the safe with a note and got out of there.”
Nothing Like Using Your Own Money To Make Change
“The owner/manager went on vacation and left me in charge of running the restaurant. It had a small menu, actually not a big deal even though the crew and I were only there for one month by this point. Except he kept insisting my coworkers were stealing from the register, and as such he took all the money out of it before leaving (there was no safe), and I had to use my own money to make change for customers.
There were plenty of smaller red flags before this happened, but that was the last straw and I put in my two weeks when he got back. The owner was the one taking cash from the register, he just doesn’t keep track of anything because he was committing tax fraud.”
Who Says You Can’t Bake In A Garage?
“I worked in a bakery for almost a year when my boss decided to move the baking operation into his garage. I was his only baker, so I felt bad going with my gut and quitting at first. I was already getting paid under the table, so I had already been kinda participating in illegal activity, I suppose, but this was different.
He had pets that he let run around in the garage, and baking tons of bread and cookies right alongside his power tools plus the pets was just nasty. All that, on top of him just being a majorly controlling jerk, I couldn’t do it. So I quit and called the health department on him the next day.”
Working With The Mob
“I’m pretty sure that I worked at a restaurant that was set up as a way for the mafia to launder their money through extended family. I was a server. We never had any customers, but the pay was really good. At 17 years old, I was clearing $700 to $1,000 a week to drink free mountain dew and hangout.
The place is still open. Traffic is nonexistent. I pop in from time to time to talk to the owners as I am friendly with them and grew up with their kids.
I say ran by the mob because the owners extended family from Brooklyn funded the restaurant for the owners. Often they would come down and meet as the restaurant was in Philly. Accent, suits, the whole nine. One time they closed down the joint and I was tipped $500 by one of the family members.”
A History Of Sleaze
“The restaurant I used to work for was SUPER shady.
During the interview process, the owner asked me if I was willing to shave. I said politely but firmly, no, the beard was staying. In the end, he said it was fine and hired me.
I showed up on my first day, beard and all, wearing my new uniform. The owner said, ‘You know what? I don’t like it. Shave your beard.’ I dug my heels in and said he said it was alright yesterday, he had the opportunity to not hire me if it was going be a problem. He never fired me but complained about my beard on many occasions.
Next, he had security cameras installed everywhere to watch us, which is highly illegal where I live. He would call sometimes and say stuff like ‘I’m watching you,’ ‘I can see you,’ ‘You’re looking good today,’ stuff like that.
Then came the late paychecks. He would send our checks by mail and ignored us when we asked if he’d direct deposit them. We would be paid days, even weeks, late. Sometimes he wouldn’t even call when he sent them, and our paychecks would sit in the company PO box for days until someone went and checked, while employees struggled to pay bills.
Now, we get really sleazy. I was working as a prep cook and frontman, and he was always after me, saying I didn’t smile enough, and I looked like I was ‘somewhere else.’ I put in serious effort to improve, but whenever he was visiting, he would find me when I was having lunch and make the same complaints.
A while later, he hired a new girl, and she manned the front when I wasn’t working. She was full of attitude and NEVER smiled. Some customers said that she looked ‘dead.’ A few customers even said they missed me when I wasn’t working! Nevertheless, the owner never gave her any grief, and she was promoted to manager within a week. I worked more hours than all but two people there, and never saw more than minimum wage.
Now, the sleaziest of all. We had this one manager who was working there on salary and was the hardest worker there. She rarely took a day off and was always the first one in and the last one out. One of the employees, who probably wanted her job, told the owner simply ‘she’s not doing good enough.’ And just like that, he took her off of her salary and put her back on minimum wage.
Unable to pay her bills, she left along with me. It was certainly an eye-opener as to how shady the service industry can be. We’re both doing well now, and last I checked, the restaurant hasn’t been shut down…yet.”
And You Thought The Uncleanliness Was The Egregious Part
“I worked at a juice bar. The Middle-Eastern owners refused to allocate adequate time to cleaning blenders. If you did anything past spraying them off with water you were scolded for wasting time. There was such a thick layer of mold under all the lids that I had no idea how they were passing health codes. Especially since on my second day at this place, I saw the owner’s wife straight up drop a piece of chicken on the floor right before serving it to a customer.
One day I was so grossed out that I ended up stopping everything I was doing to clean the place. My boss yelled at me for wasting time and fired me, so I grabbed three lids and handed them to each of the customers in line and said: ‘this is what your smoothies are being made in and I was just fired for trying to clean them.’ I came back for my final paycheck and I caught them trying to short me, so I asked them to pay me to rest. They said they would have the check in two weeks. When they didn’t have it, I went to the department of labor and filed a complaint.
I came back a week later and they FINALLY had my check. The owner said to me in broken English: ‘how do you expect to make anything of yourself.’ I laughed and said: ‘by not letting shady employers scam me out of my hard-earned money.’
A year later they were closed down because of an investigation my complaint ended up launching. Turned out they were violating a lot of tax codes as well as health codes.”
It Doesn’t Pay To Rip Off Your Employees
“I started working as an assistant in a seafood department of a supermarket franchise a while ago. After two months they moved me to full time, and four months after that I was the employee of the month and assistant manager.
The company asked if I could relocate to another store to run their shop as the manager. I was stoked, manager at 18? Felt good man.
I was there 13 hours a day, six days a week, for eight months. I was getting paid $450 a week. I thought something was wrong about that and approached my manager, he said because I was young and still on my full-time probation period I was earning less, but once probation was over I would be on a higher pay grade. Well, probation rolls past and my pay hadn’t gone up.
The union rep came in one day and was chatting to all the staff about the job. I asked him about my paygrade and what I was earning, and his jaw literally dropped. He pulled out his folder and showed me what I was supposed to be earning, which was over double.
He backed me up when I approached head office about it and despite them trying to pull over everything in the book to avoid back paying me. I ended up walking out of that meeting with something like seven grand plus a penalty.”
“I Will Never Forgive Her Or Respect Her”
“The manager at my old workplace (a convenience store) was in a bad relationship and started messing around with substances again (she had been clean for a while). When she did, she started just acting completely insane. She refused to do her job, started just leaving in the middle of the workday when it was only her and one other person there, and started throwing everyone under the bus when things that were clearly her fault happened.
One of the worst things though was she started hiring more guys at the store. Not a big deal except some of them were questionable from the get-go. One guy had never had a job before, told everyone he took multiple ‘smoke breaks’ to get high, and just walked out of the shift multiple times for no reason. She refused to write him up or fire him though.
It all came to a head when she hired my husband because he needed a job after recently losing his. I thought she was doing it because she knew our situation. She refused to let us work the same shift though and he was always working it with her. She said it was because she didn’t want us flirting and kissing while on the clock in front of the cameras. My husband came home early one day and when I asked what happened, he said he couldn’t work with her anymore and had quit.
She apparently had been flirting with my husband from the beginning, and the day he quit, she had cornered him in the soda vault and tried to convince him to sleep with her. He had been uncomfortable and polite with her beforehand, but that was the final straw for him.
I was furious and called up our district manager and ended up telling her all about the crazy stuff that had happened. Our manager was demoted and ultimately quit within the next week. She’s sobered up again and married a guy she met, but I will never forgive her or respect her for using our financial crisis to try and sleep with my husband.”